Take Your Business to the Next Level With Subscriptions

For subscription economy leader Paul Chambers, creating SubSummit—a conference devoted to those who work within the DTC subscription industry—was a no-brainer. 

Paul serves as the CEO and co-founder of the Subscription Trade Association (SUBTA), and has been starting, scaling, and selling businesses on Shopify for over 10 years. One of those businesses, Core3 Solutions, is the parent company to subscription based brands including Element5 Digital, Moka Boka, Rocket Effect, and Gentleman's Box.

In 2017, Paul and his co-founders hosted the first ever SubSummit. “We wanted to absorb knowledge from the amazing people around us,” says Paul. This year’s event is expecting over 2,000 attendees, with guest speakers from some of the most well known subscription businesses including Netflix, Hinge, the New York Times, and The Washington Post. 

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Through years of running the event and subscription businesses, Paul has a wealth of knowledge on the topic. Ahead, he shares his expert advice for businesses looking to implement a subscription model. 

Any business can benefit from a subscription model 

Businesses can increase brand loyalty, raise engagement, and gain meaningful customer feedback with their subscription offerings.

There are many different ways to implement subscriptions, including subscribe and save, membership plans, or a surprise and delight approach. The subscribe and save model, which is where customers purchase products on a recurring basis and are given a discount, is one of the easiest ways for brands to dabble in subscriptions. 

At the end of the day, it’s all about adding value to the customer experience and creating a long lasting relationship with your audience. As you grow, you want subscribing members to keep coming back for more, and feel invested. “They’ve got skin in the game, so they’re going to be more likely to shop there,” Paul explains.

Focus on retention through customer experience

The growing number of subscription options on the market paired with economic uncertainty and inflation may impact customer interest in subscriptions. Weathering the ups and downs of the industry, Paul says, means delivering a great experience.

Take an active approach to subscriber retention by being up front with your customers and focusing on the quality of the product you’re providing.“It's not about hoping somebody forgets their subscription is gonna renew and you capture another month out of them. It's about building so much value they’ll never leave, and they'll never want to cancel,” Paul says. 

Paul advises people not to look at churn as a bad thing. “It’s a temporary thing and sometimes, it gives people the ability to pause and come back,” he says. 

The future of the subscription economy 

According to Paul, 2023 is the year of retention. With a recent consumer focus on saving money, you can expect to see the subscribe and save model being used by more businesses. 

Every business can benefit from the subscription model, it’s just a matter of how it’s implemented. Experimenting with subscriptions to find what works best for you and your business will allow you to form deeper connections with your customers, and increase the overall value of your brand.

Tune in to the full Shopify Masters episode to hear how your business can benefit from offering subscriptions, and discover the best tools and strategies for optimizing your subscription model.